At about six weeks of age, young Great Horned Owls fledge, moving from their nest into nearby trees where they spend their time hiding among the branches while waiting for their parents to deliver food. (If discovered by crows, they are easy to find — just follow the cacophony created by the mobbing crows.) At seven weeks they are taking short flights, but remain close to their nest. At this point they are about 3/4’s grown and resemble the adults except for lacking the prominent feather tufts or “horns.” Even at nine or ten weeks, when capable of extended flight, juveniles tend to stay close to their parents. The adults bring their young occasional food items as late as September, when dispersal begins. (Photo: fledged juvenile Great Horned Owl after a downpour; thanks to Sharon Glezen and Cara Calvelli for photo opportunity)
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